MotoGP Aragon: Dixon on front row as Fernandez takes Moto2 pole

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Picture: GeeBee Images

Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Augusto Fernandez returned to pole position for the second time in 2022 as the sole rider under the 1’52 barrier at Aragon.

A 1’51.888 saw the championship leader unbeaten at Motorland on Saturday afternoon after Shimoko GasGas Aspar’s Albert Arenas and Jake Dixon came closest to challenge as they locked out the remainder of the front row.

Championship contender Ai Ogura faced the Q1 fight as Moto2 qualifying kicked off at Alcañiz. Mooney VR46’s Celestino Vietti heading the times from the Japanese rider with a 1’52.804 opener before the Idemitsu Honda rider struck back a tenth ahead.

Outgoing American rider Cameron Beaubier proved he was far from done with the 2022 season as he looked to claim his place in the final shootout with a 1’52.480 next time around as RW Racing’s Barry Baltus picked up the final promotion three-tenths adrift.

Gresini’s Alessandro Zaccone denied the Belgium in the closing minutes with a move to third. Vietti in the danger zone as the clock counted down but with no further challenges registering, the Italian’s progress was safe.

The final season began with disaster for Vietti as he crashed out of the opening corner at the start of this first flying lap. Dixon initially took charge of the times from teammate Arenas before Ogura bettered by less than a tenth.

Jorge Navarro was the next to succumb to the Spanish circuit with a turn five slide on the Flexbox HP40 from seventh in the standings. Italtrans’ Joe Roberts yet to set a time after only heading out at the halfway stage.

The American hot the top ten with his first hot-lap as the front runners fired the pace up further. Aron Canet claiming provisional pole before Dixon arrived with a 1’52.179 and four minutes left on the clock. Roberts continued to improve as he claimed fourth from Tony Arbolino on the Elf Marc VDS. Fernandez and Arenas denying the Brit next time around as the KTM took charge with the first 1’51 of the weekend.

Red Bull KTM Ajo teammate Pedro Acosta slotted into fifth ahead of Ogura as Misano winner Alonso Lopez and Gresini’s Filip Salac completed the top ten. Beaubier dropped to 14th with Vietti advancing from the back, to 16th, as the final minute fired up.

CAG Speed Up’s Lopez was on the fringes of the front row as the session wound towards its conclusion. Fernandez holding fast at the top from the GasGas duo as Arbolino consolidated eighth ahead of the Idemitsu Honda pairing of Ogura and Somkiat Chantra. Vietti dropped back to 17th in the dying stages as he paid a heavy price for his early off.

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